The Village – деревня (Der-ev-nya)

Not the M. Night Shyamalan movie. The isolated small community in the forest or on the side of the hill. Nestled around the countryside of Ukraine are thousands of villages. I’ve found a number of interesting discoveries in the last couple of weeks as God has built some relational bridges for us in several of them.

1. Population Unknown – Every time I ask the question of population from anyone living in a small village, they never know. In fact, by the looks they give me, you’d guess they’ve never pondered the question themselves.

2. They are VERY friendly. Maybe it’s infrequency of visitors, or lack of entertainment options but the smiles are abundant.

3. Drinking is as bad, or worse in the village. Many families are fatherless, losing the Patriarch very early in life often from chronic alcoholism or what it produces.

4. God can create bridges into the most remote village.

That last point has been made abundantly clear to me. Several villages in the past month have been on my heart as I’ve pondered the reality of most of them never hearing or experiencing the life found in Jesus Christ. I’ve prayed and asked God for open doors. I can’t say they’ve been faith filled prayers. “I have no idea how you will do this, but would you open some doors here God?” is pretty much the prayer. I have no idea what I’ll do once the doors open either, but trust Him for the next step.

Some of these villages have centuries of history, survived wars and famines. Some families have lived in the same dirt floor houses since the early 1800’s.

Anyway, God has opened some opportunities this week in two more villages. Contacts made ‘by chance’. Someone needing a ride, our dog needing a vet. I’m pursuing these relationships and excited that God is involved. I want to see His hand at work. To God, there is no such thing as ‘off the radar’, even in the smallest of villages He sees, loves, and is powerful to save.

Bruce

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